The Transylvania Times -

Smart Start Early Childhood Resilience Cohort Here To Help


Last updated 10/20/2021 at 11:14am

What helps you cope and get through hard times? How do you face life’s challenges, adversities and crises? The ability to be resilient in times of stress, adversity, failure, challenges or even trauma is a skill that not everyone has. Studies have found that 45% of North Carolina children have experienced one or more adverse childhood experiences and only 57% of adults studied exhibited strong resiliency.

Smart Start of Transylvania County (SSTC) has announced, thanks to support from Dogwood Health Trust, a regional resilience initiative. Recog- nizing the needs of communities, a Western North Carolina Regional Collaborative will focus on early relational health and resiliency building.

“Partnership is at the essence of what makes the Smart Start network innovative and impactful. This initiative will build upon and amplify the advocacy, leadership and family engagement work that each individual partnership already has in place and lead us collectively towards building more flexible, more able communities across the region,” said SSTC Executive Director Deb Tibbetts. “We give Dogwood Health Trust sincere recognition for their belief and support of our vision for sustaining resilient communities across the region.”

Services of the initiative will focus on building resilience in children 0-5 and their caretakers. Resilience helps children not only deal with current difficulties that are a part of everyday life, but also to develop the basic skills and habits that will help them deal with challenges later in life, during adolescence and adulthood. This initiative will span 18 counties over a three-year period and provide support with the end goal of creating more trauma responsive communities.

“We were impressed with the regional Smart Start collaborations and the work they have done together to plan for and develop this regional approach,” said Dr. Susan Mims, interim CEO of Dogwood Health Trust. “Helping build resilience for children, families, and communities will be a key part of our work moving forward, and research tells us that starting in the earliest years of life is critical to health and wellness throughout our lives. We look forward to seeing the outcomes from this work as the oppor-tunities for children and families to engage in building resilience contin-ue to grow.”

Smart Start agencies have been serving families with young children for over 25 years and represent all 100 counties in the state. Smart Start organizations are private, nonprofit agencies that support, educate and advocate to build a strong foundation for young children in their communities. Smart Starts work with service providers, early childhood educators, families, and communities to ensure high quality, effective imple-mentation of programs to support young children and their families.

Dogwood Health Trust is a private foundation based in Asheville with the sole purpose of dramatically improving the health and well-being of all people and communities of 18 counties and the Qualla Boundary in Western North Carolina. To learn more, please visit


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2021